Past | 展覽回顧
 
Taihu Lake Stone Under the Neon Light
WANG Changming Solo Exhibition

石來運轉 -- 王長明個展

Date | 展期 2013. 6. 22 - 7. 31
 
 
about the artist | 藝術家介紹
 
works | 展出作品
 

移花接木
—讀王長明的繪畫和雕塑

彭鋒

王長明以超級寫實進入藝術界。他畫的靜物,逼真而充滿詩意。不過,隨著對藝術和社會的理解的深入,王長明放棄了純粹繪畫,融入了觀念,並且涉及現成品和多媒材的利用。但是,不管王長明在當代藝術的道路上走了多遠,他始終沒有離開滋養他的文化母土。由此,我們從王長明的作品中一方面可以看到當代社會的標記,另一方面可以看到傳統文化的蹤跡。王長明巧妙地將傳統與當代嫁接起來,讓它們形成對照、衝突與和解,並以此來詮釋當代中國的文化景觀。
王長明作品的重要標誌,是太湖石,他的繪畫和雕塑多以它為題材。王長明的太湖石雕塑,是由天然太湖石切割而成。與其說它是雕塑,不如說它是裝置。從這一點上來說,它與展望以太湖石為題材的雕塑不同。展望的雕塑是用不袗拓模太湖石而成,對太湖石做了材料上的轉換。不袗是工業時代和消費時代的標誌,用它來拓模被中國文人賦予詩情畫意的太湖石,這裡的傳統與當代的關係也非常耐人尋味,材料轉換也是雕塑的常用手法。但是,王長明的作品並沒有採取材料轉換的方式,而是直接借用了天然太湖石。從這種意義上來說,王長明的作品可以說是現成品裝置。不過,與直接挪用現成品不同,王長明對太湖石進行了干預和轉換。王長明不是用工業材料來轉換太湖石,而是工業方式來轉換太湖石。這種通過方式的轉換,比通過材料的轉換,形成的對照和反差似乎更加強烈。太湖石是天然形成的,它的審美特徵是瘦漏透皺,以曲線為美。機械切割是現代工業手段,切割後的物品具有幾何形狀,以直線為勝。機械切割與天然太湖石剛好處於相對的兩極,以此來強化自然與人為之間的對立,是再合適不過的了。
王長明將工業切割與天然太湖石對照起來,究竟有什麼目的?他的作品是唱給自然的挽歌,還是獻給工業的頌詞?是對工業文明的聲討,還是對自然造化的讚歎?在王長明的作品中,我們看到的只是對照的事實,而看不到直接表態。這種不予表態的直接呈現,讓王長明的作品給多元解讀留下了餘地。
首先,自然與人工的對立,通常會形成悲劇性的結局。但是,我們在王長明的作品中,並沒有看到期待的悲劇性結局。自然與人工經過激烈的衝突之後,達成了和解。太湖石並沒有因為機械切割而變得醜陋,相反巧妙的剪裁,既彰顯了太湖石的材質之美,又體現了機械切割的幾何之美。王長明的作品,並不是在控訴工業文明的罪孽,而是像黑格爾那樣,讓衝突的雙方揚起各自的缺陷,而達到更高層次的真理。
其次,王長明的作品之所以耐人尋味,原因在於它們觸及瞭望與庇護的心理要求。20世紀的環境科學家們發現,人類喜歡居於能看見別人而自己又不被別人看見的位置,這種心理要求被總結為瞭望-庇護原理。充滿曲折空洞的太湖石之所以被人喜歡,在於它們滿足了庇護要求。王長明切割太湖石的行為,其實是人類的瞭望要求的體現。經過王長明切割的太湖石,既保留了原有的曲折晦暗,又增加了新的透明和敞開。於是,瞭望與庇護兩種心理要求都可得到滿足。
從上述兩個方面來看,王長明的作品都希望在揭示矛盾的同時,探索進一步的和解,避免簡單的對立,因此儘管王長明的作品中充滿了對立,但總體看來仍然是美的。
與雕塑或者裝置一樣,王長明的繪畫也能很好地反應當代中國的急劇變遷。對於這種變遷,王長明並沒有像絕大多數藝術家和人文學者那樣憂心忡忡,他一如既往地沒有急於表態,沒有陷入簡單化的二元對立,而是力圖在畫面上探討二者之間的關係,發現它們和諧共處的方式。在“宋畫系列”中,王長明將宋畫中的某些部分畫成霓虹燈的形式。作為當代社會的標誌的霓虹燈,不僅是工業文明的產物,而且是消費文化的代表。將霓虹燈嵌入意境高遠的宋畫之中,無異於在和諧的旋律中植入了噪音。但是,把它們之間的關係理解為宋畫進入了一個充滿霓虹燈的社會。因為宋畫的存在和映襯,原本和諧的當代社會變得焦躁而混亂;或者在霓虹燈的映照下,原本詩意盎然的宋畫變得蒼白無趣。總之,無論哪種解讀,都有可能是批判性的。可以是對當代社會的批判,從而表現為文化懷舊主義;也可以是對傳統文化的批判,從而表現為文化激進主義。這兩種形式的批判,在當代藝術中都不少見。但是,批判並不是王長明的目的。相反,在將矛盾並置起來之後,王長明開始小心翼翼地在畫面上尋找讓它們和解的方式。
在新近創作的“園林異彩”系列中,王長明不僅繼續使用霓虹燈這個元素,而且加入了電視和電影投影,從而在寧靜的園林中濺起了光的“漣漪”。從傳統主義者的角度來看,投影的介入,無異於嚴重的光污染。從激進主義者的角度來看,園林因為不適合當代圖像轉向,而必將被拋進歷史的故紙堆。在這裡,王長明再一次扮演了調和大師的角色。為了讓二者在畫面上相安無事,王長明要解決不少繪畫技術上的問題。
從王長明的雕塑和繪畫中可以看到,他像一個善於移花接木的大師,傳統與當代的尖銳衝突,經過他的嫁接和栽培,居然能夠形成和諧的藝術作品。從這種意義上可以說,王長明的作品在內容上非常當代,在形式上非常古典。正因為王長明有超強的移花接木的能力,它們才在作品中達成有機統一。王長明的藝術,可以說是中國當代社會的一個縮影。

2013年5月15日於北京大學蔚秀園

 


Graft Flowers on to a Stone -- Appreciate Paintings and sculptures of Wang Changming

By Peng Feng

Wang Changming entered the art world by his surrealistic works.  The still life paintings of his create not only an illusion of reality but also quite poetic.  Along with a further understanding of art and the society, Wang has abandoned pure painting, and instead, the perception is integrated, ready-mades and multi-media are involved with his works.  No matter how far Wang travels on the way of contemporary art, he will never leave his culture and mother town where he was raised behind.  This is the reason we can find symbols of current society from the works and the trace of traditional culture on the other hand.  Wang skillfully grafts together traditional and contemporary art, contrast it between conflicted and compromised in order to interpret Chinese contemporary cultural landscape.

Taihu stone, also known as scholar’s rock, is the most significant symbol of Wang’s works, and it underlies most of his paintings and sculptures.  He cut natural Taihu stone to make sculptures.  It seems to be more an Installation than a sculpture.  Apparently it is different from the sculpture of Zhan Wang who also primarily concentrates on Taihu stones.  Zhan cast his sculpture and transformed quality of Taihu stone into stainless steel which stands for the era of industry and consumption.  Material transformation is utilized commonly in sculpture, and Taihu stone that Chinese men of letters considered it very poetic and pictorial splendor casting in stainless steel provides a meaningful thought between the connection of tradition and contemporary.  However, Wang uses natural Taihu stone directly instead of transforming materials on his works.  In this sense, his work is more a ready-made installation.  Unlike using ready-mades directly, Wang processed Taihu stones by invasion and conversion.  He converses Taihu stones by manufactural techniques rather than transforming them into industrial materials.  The contrast and difference are much more intense than material transformation.  Taihu stones are created by nature,primarily qualified by its thinness, openness, perforations, and wrinkling, and there is especially no better quality than curve.  Mechanical cutting is one of techniques in modern industry, objects can be geometric designs after cutting, and straight lines are considering the best.  Mechanical cutting is quite a contrast to natural Taihu stones, and it is an ideal idea to emphasize the opposition between nature and man-made.

What is the purpose of Wang to bring out contrast between manufactural cutting and natural Taihu stones?  Are his artworks an elegiac song for natural, or a eulogium dedicating to industry?  Does it denounce industrial civilization, or applaud the nature?  We can obviously find the comparison in his works but they never clarify where they stand.  His noncommittal display leaves artworks rooms for diverse interpretation.

First, to contrast nature objects with artificial objects usually leads to a tragic ending.  From the works of Wang, however, we won’t meet a foregone conclusion.  Instead, nature objects and artificial objects meet a compromise after intense conflict.  Taihu stones did not become ugly because of mechanical cutting; by contraries, the artful cutting not only demonstrates the beauty of material of Taihu stones, but also reflects the beauty of geometric mechanical cutting.  The artworks of Wang Changming did not aim to accuse the sins of the industrial civilization, but as Hegel did, raising conflict for both sides to force them uncover defects, and achieve a higher level of truth.

Secondly, the reason why the works of Wang Changming affording so much meaning for thought is because that they touch our psychological needs for observation and harborage.        The environmental scientists discovered in 20th century that human beings prefer to situate in a position where they are able to see others and to hide themselves at the same time.  The psychological needs are summarized as observation - harborage principle.  Thus why people are fond of Taihu stones which are covered in many twists and holes is because they meet the needs of harborage.  The idea that Wang cut Taihu stones is exactly a manifestation of observation needs.  After processed by cutting, Taihu stones not only retain their twists and dull holes, but also increase visibility and openness.  Accordingly, both of psychological needs of observation and harborage can be satisfied.   

According above two points, the works of Wang want to explore further compromise while revealing conflict and avoid confrontation.  Although his works are glutted with contrast, it still seems attractive overall.

The sculptures or installations, as well as paintings of Wang reflect the rapid change of contemporary China correspondingly.  He did not act anxiously like the vast majority of artists and humanities scholars for the change, or impatient to state his opinions, nor simply fall into either opposite, instead, he made efforts on the painting searching for the connection between them and finding out how to coexist both in harmony.  In the series of “Paintings of Song dynasty”, Wang painted neon lights in certain parts in the scene.  The neon lights are the symbol of contemporary society, the product of industrial civilization, and representative of consumer culture.  Insert neon lights into exquisite Paintings of Song Dynasty was nothing less than to plant noise in a harmonious melody.  However, it is better for understanding their connection by considering that Paintings of Song was entering a world full of neon lights.  Because of setting Song Paintings against, the coordinated current world turned into anxious and confused place; or under the shimmering neon lights, the poetic Song Paintings seemed pale and dull.  Overall, no matter which interpretation take place, it is likely to be critical.  The critiques go two either way: to criticize the contemporary society to stand for cultural nostalgia, or to criticize traditional culture to stand for cultural radicalism.  Both of critiques commonly exist in contemporary art.  Yet Wang did not aim at criticizing.  On the contrary, when conflict struggling, Wang start to find methods carefully to compromise contrast on the painting.

In the latest creation of “Exotic Splendor Garden” series, Wang Changming not only continues to use the neon lights, but also put the television and film projection in it, and making the serene garden spread over flashing ripples.  From the point of view of traditionalist, projection intervention would increase a severe light defect, and from the perspective of radicalism, garden does not fit the shift of contemporary image and will be dumped into history in stacks of paper sooner or later.  Once again Wang played a role of intercessor here in his works.  In order to let both exist compatibly on the painting, he has a great deal of painting technical problems to solve.

From the sculptures and paintings of Wang revealed that he is mastering graft.  Via grafting and planting materials, the shaping conflict between tradition and contemporary still can be created an artwork of harmony.  In the sense, it can be referred to that the artworks of Wang are very contemporary in character and very classical in form.  Because of his superior ability to graft materials, they are qualified to present accordingly.  The artworks of Wang Changming can be seen as a contemporary Chinese society in microcosm.

May 15, 2013 at Peking University Wei Xiu Park

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
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